Top 20 Anime of 2012

Without further ado. . .

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12 Days of Anime – Just Another Couple

There are a lot of good couples this year. There’s Chitanda and Houtarou’s slow but moving romance, there’s the Mysterious Couple X, and there’s Shizuku and her little monster. There’s one series though that really takes the cake and for me in terms of having the cutest couple and that’s. . .

But seriously though, this couple really grew on me. Horror is never really my thing and one of the reasons why I liked Another so much is because I didn’t partly laugh watching the entirety of it (okay maybe except part of the last episode) and I actually got scared at times. The biggest reason though is that it actually bothered having main characters that aren’t just catalysts for horror.

While Mei’s story started off as something to scare Kouichi (and the viewers), once we got to really know her, she ends up being a sympathetic character. Also all that buildup eventually turned into a romantic buildup which made me appreciate Another even more.

March Roundup

Dropped: Symphogear, Area no Kishi, Guilty Crown

Hold: InuXBoku SS, Mouretsu Pirates, Mirai Nikki

I’ll just do a fast swing at this since I’ve explained a lot in my reviews

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LAND OF THE TERRIBAD:

none

FAULTY BUT WATCHABLE:

none

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GOOD:

Rinne no Lagrange: 8.0

I felt a bit iffy with the whole Madoka angst but overall, Rinne’s last month felt like a build up to the next season. Everyone’s separated ways after the whole “pretty flowers falling into the sky” act. I never really got the significance of that but whatever. ONWARDS TO SEASON 2 THIS SUMMER!

Nichibros. : 8.3

The comedy started to go slightly dry but the anime insults haven’t. In particular the whole last scene in the last episode where everything was played straight feels like a facepalm now seeing how stupid these clichés actually are. I salute you for this Nichibros., I really do.

GREAT:

Another: 8.6

The last two episodes were sort of downers, especially since the rest of the series spent time building up the mystery. The BIG REVEAL is mindfuck amazing though, but overall, this isn’t Another’s best month.

Ano Natsu de Matteru: 8.6

 

Mixed bag for this month. Episodes 9 and 10 were pretty amazing, Top tier quality romance. Episodes 11 and 12 is shit. Seriously, the Sci-fi element cheapens the whole thing! Though Lemon-senpai turning out to be MBI was pretty damn cool.

LEGENDARY:

Nisemonogatari: 9.0

Step down from Bake, as I’ve mentioned already. Still, that toothbrush scene will always be etched in my mind forever.

Aquarion EVOL: 9.0

I’m including Episode 14 in this because that’s the reason why EVOL is rated so high this month. The level of surrealism in that episode just raised the weirdness bar on this series, which was pretty high already.

Fudo ordered the students to bury themselves on the graveyard to feel death. Mikono was opposed to this so she didn’t follow orders and after a few minutes, the original Aquarion OP starts playing and Mikono’s power was revealed (something about connecting green lines or whatever). Then everyone popped up of the ground and Mikono shouts “Happy Birthday!” to all of them.

Weird but awesome.

Chihayafuru: 9.4

I WANT A SEQUEL NOW!

ALL TIME FAVORITE:

nada

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Average month I guess. . . not much to say that I haven’t already. I don’t wanna be repetitive. Toodles!

Reviews – Chihayafuru, Nisemonogatari, Rinne no Lagrange, Nichibros, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Another

HAHAHA sorry for the delay, I may not be keeping up with my blogging but I definitely am when it comes to watching.

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Chihayafuru

Starting from episode 1, I knew this series was going to be a winner. I’m a big fan of sports series (or at least I have a high regard to the ones that I did watch) and the way that Chihayafuru presented Competitive Karuta, something very niche, is awesome. And what would Chihayafuru be without its awesome set of characters. Whether it was Chihaya and her one-sided mind played wonderfully or Taichi’s complexity or even the other members of the Karuta club, it was played really well. It also has a knack on developing players Chihaya faces really well. Complete with excellent production values, Chihayafuru is definitely the best anime that aired this past two seasons.

Execution: 37/40 (The way such a niche sport was presented in such an outstanding way puts Chihayafuru above a lot of sports series)

Engagement: 28/30 (It filled the void Steins;Gate left behind on my Tuesdays perfectly)

Characters: 19/20 (The fact that you even have attachments to one-episode characters makes Chihayafuru’s development above any other this season)

Production Values: 9/10 (Great soundtrack, great animation, colorful palette; courtesy of Madhouse)

Overall: 93/100

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Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari is amazing on its own right but it is a step down from its predecessor. Bakemonogatari is my all-time favorite anime hands down so Nisemonogatari had a lot to live up to. Well of course Nisemonogatari is more of the same. The extensive dialogues that go nowhere, the plot that’s built up using words, the crazy animation and wonderful choke of development. What Nisemonogatari lacks is structure. Bakemonogatari has arcs that feel complete afterwards. It even has a sort of epilogue in each arc in which Araragi would have a scene with his sisters and how each story has added something to his character. Nisemonogatari decided on making the sisters actual characters, and the two arcs feel a bit flimsy compared to any of Bakemonogatari’s. Its plot advances but there’s no real end to anything. I didn’t feel the gathering of different clues to achieve the answer (it actually felt a bit “made up along the way”) something that Bakemonogatari always had. With that Nisemonogatari is a bit of a step down to Bakemonogatari.

That’s all the complaints though. Again Nisemonogatari holds up pretty well when it comes to dialogues, plot development, characters and animation and with the monogatari franchise, these are the important parts. In fact SHAFT made sure this looks even more amazing than what they’ve ever done before (tooth brush scene anyone?). Being a step down from my All-time favorite series just means it stepped down from An Almighty God, to a demigod or something like that.

Actually ignore anything I said above. I’m just putting this lower because there wasn’t as much Senjougahara and the only replacement they have with Bakemonogatari’s amazing episode 12 is the toothbrush scene. Plus no Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari.

Execution: 36/40 (Great but lacks the polish Bake- had)

Engagement: 29/30 (Well duh its the sequel of my favorite series ever, so I was eagerly anticipating this week per week)

Characters: 18/20 (Great characters as always. They really keep developing and changing through out the span of both seasons.)

Production: 10/10 (Best set of visuals I have ever seen.)

Overall: 93/100

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Rinne no Lagrange

One of the three big sci-fi series of the season, Rinne was my early favorite. those first few episodes were downright amazing. The mix of an intriguing plot, characters, action and an EPIC BGM (i mean it the OST of this series is really good) made this series a winner. It was still good afterwards but it never really topped its first few episodes. The excitement on my heart that I found a series that can make me this well– excited tapered off a bit towards the end. Sure Madoka and the jersey club hold up pretty well towards the end but something was missing. Hopefully Season 2 fixes this.

Execution: 33/40(Amazing first few episodes but tapers off a bit as it finishes its first season)

Engagement: 25/30 (The excitement in my heart on those first few episodes will never be replaced.)

Characters: 17/20 (Madoka and co. are okay and they do have a fair share of development but there’s still something missing to it. 2nd season should polish on this aspect)

Production Values: 9/10(If anything, people should listen to the OST. Fucking amazing)

Overall: 84/100

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Nichibros

I love how this show insults many of the cliched aspects of Anime. In a way it sets as an awareness that creators should be more creative to what they make and stop using these cliches. Awareness aside, Nichibros. is a fucking goldmine in Anime Comedies. The way it presents girls as horrible people (again opposite of how Anime usually represents them), the Lit. Girl segments wherein the deep things people say just come out of their asses, and the different shit guys do in Highschool. The characters are no way developed but this series is just to funny and awesome for me to even care.

And yes, Season 2 please. This is how you do a comedy about High School boys (go to hell Kimi to Boku.)

PS. I can’t believe they did a segment where the girls went to London just to beat up other girls; Too much K-ON references?

Execution: 36/40 (The way it presented itself as an anime that anime fans need to watch is very unique.)

Engagement: 27/30 (Your attention sticks to how funny a segment is. Luckily almost all segments are funny.)

Characters: 15/20 (ZERO development but all of them are funny)

Production Values: 7/10 (Nothing special)

Overall: 85/100

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Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu surprised me on how well done it is. For a melodrama High School romance, this sure holds up well to my favorites. In fact it reminds a lot of Toradora. I can’t compare it to the Onegai Series since i haven’t watched it, but this series really stands on its own. The whole setup with an alien girl falling into a normal guy’s hands feels all fanservice, harem rip-off, but to my surprise it turned out to be a love polygon between a group of friends. Characters are given a healthy dose of development (particularly Mio, Kanna and Tetsurou) and the drama between them just becomes better because of this. The directing is High Tier, with camera angles really depicting the love polygon well (See episode 9).

There are a few downsides to this. While the entire cast has development, the main couple, Kaito and Ichika, are a far cry when comparing them to leads of series with the same genre (notably Toradora, Anohana, Honey and Clover). The added sci-fi element kind of bogs the entire thing down since it didn’t need it on the first place. Minor complaints to what is essentially a great High School melodrama.

Execution: 36/40(My god the directing is so spot-on. The added sci-fi element bogs things down though)

Engagement: 26/30(Romances like these are always very engaging)

Characters: 18/20(Healthy dose of development)

Production Values: 8/10(Pretty good considering this is JC Staff and all)

Overall: 88/100

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Another

Horror series are rare to come by (since they don’t sell that well) so I was all excited when Another premiered. The premise is about a class where people die, Final Destination style, because of a curse that happened 26 years ago. The series spends its entire time figuring out who the “Another” is and the big reveal is really awesome. At the start, I thought the characters were a bit one-sided but Kou and Misaki (and their blossoming relationship) really developed after a few episodes of conspiracy building. Combined with an awesome set of visuals and sound, Another holds up well to great anime of the same genre (namely Shiki and Higurashi).

Execution: 36/40(Horror is as hard to execute as comedy and Another did it really well since I was scared shit in my pants watching this every week.)

Engagement:26/30(The overall mystery surrounding the Another was nicely done)

Characters:17/20(Kouichi and Mei are adorable together)

Production Values: 9/10 (It’s PA Works. Can’t go wrong with that.)

Overall: 88/100

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Oh god I’m fucking tired typing this and I still have a lot to review. Well good luck to me. Plus that monthly roundup is gonna be done soon. And my Recommended list. Hah! I’m totally not procrastinating.

Side Note: Apparently I’m in the Aniblog Tourney (that circle jerk fiesta where all pretentious bitches win –nah just kidding) so if you’d like to support me, please do.

Another – 02

Photobomb

I think it’s safe to say that Another is the best new/not a sequel series this season. It has the right atmosphere and the BGM (something that can make or break suspense horror thrillers) just amplifies it further. If I did have a complaint though, it would be that those doll transition shots are totally not needed.

The first half of this episode was a bit weak but it certainly got a lot more creepy as it went.

1) When Sakakibara went into the library when he saw Mei, why didn’t the guys he was talking with follow suit (it was as if they were avoiding it- assuming they don’t see Misaki).

2) Why is it so important to know if Sakakibara never lived in the area or not?

3) What are they hiding from Sakakibara and why?

4) What’s the importance of those dolls (now that Sakakibara finally went to the store)?

5) What’s in Misaki’s left eye?